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Lynch challenges constitutionality of Deepwater law  

Credit:  NBC 10 News, www2.turnto10.com 22 November 2010 ~~

Attorney General Patrick Lynch said Monday that he has filed a brief in state Supreme Court challenging the constitutionality of a law that ultimately gave Deepwater Wind an exclusive contract to build a wind farm off the coast of Rhode Island.

Lynch said the law was a violation of separation of powers.

The state Public Utilities Commission in March rejected Deepwater’s proposal to sell power from a demonstration wind farm.

The General Assembly passed a law over the summer requiring the PUC to review the decision. The law also named Deepwater Wind as the applicant.

“When a legislature attempts to give a single failed applicant a customized privilege to re-apply to the tribunal after a final decision, such legislation amounts to an attempt at re-determination of the result in a particular already-concluded case—a violation of separation-of-powers,” the brief says.

The PUC in August approved Deepwater Wind’s power purchase agreement with National Grid.

Gov. Don Carcieri has backed the Deepwater project as a source of new jobs and a new industry for Rhode Island.

Source:  NBC 10 News, www2.turnto10.com 22 November 2010

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